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Penn State Trustees Propose & Rescind Resolution For Paterno Field, Joe & Sue Paterno Day

A small group of members of the Penn State Board of Trustees proposed naming the field at Beaver Stadium “Paterno Field” and the creation of “Susan P. and Joseph V. Paterno Day” in fall 2024 in honor of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and his wife Sue Paterno during a board meeting on Friday. The motion was later rescinded after comments by board member Jay Paterno.

Trustee Anthony Lubrano put forth a resolution to name the football field at Beaver Stadium “Paterno Field” and to honor Joe Paterno with a “Susan P. and Joseph V. Paterno Day,” which would be the same day the field would be named. Trustee Alvin de Levie seconded the motion.

However, after a lengthy speech by trustee and son of Joe Paterno, Jay Paterno, Lubrano pulled back the resolution. After the removal of the resolution, trustee and former Penn State football player Brandon Short delivered an emotional speech decrying what he saw as the use of Joe Paterno’s name for political gain.

Lubrano began his proposal with a lengthy speech about Joe Paterno’s dedication to the university and both its academic and athletic successes. He cited a speech Joe Paterno gave to the board in 1983 when Joe Paterno told the board to better devote its efforts to the school’s academic issues at hand.

“My fellow trustees, we have reached the moment of truth,” Lubrano said. “Are we going to honor two people who have literally given their lives in the pursuit of a better Penn State? Are we going to allow fear-mongering to prevail?”

Lubrano also cited Franklin Roosevelt’s famous presidential inaugural speech, imploring his fellow trustees not to give in to the fear he said was perpetrated by outside influences.

In his official proposal, Lubrano included references to Joe Paterno’s philanthropic efforts toward Penn State and his abilities as a football coach and a leader. Lubrano cited the funding of the Joe Paterno Library, the Pasquillara Spiritual Center, and more, while also noting the national championships, All-Americans, Big Ten titles, and more Joe Paterno gave to Penn State.

After Lubrano put forth his proposal, board member de Levie seconded the motion. Board of Trustees Chair Matthew Schuyler then opened up discussion on the proposal, at which point Jay Paterno spoke for more than 10 minutes about Joe Paterno’s dedication to the university.

“After 12 years, some would argue the time is long overdue to correct the historical record. Others think it is not important,” Jay Paterno said. “Getting it right is important because that decades-long era of Penn State history was never about one man.

“If Joe Paterno was here right now, he’d respect the vision of our president and implore us to do the hard things required for the future of Penn State,” Jay Paterno added.

After his speech, Jay Paterno asked the board to delay the proposal to a later date, which he noted that he hoped would come soon.

After Jay Paterno’s speech, Lubrano removed the resolution from the discussion, a motion which was quickly seconded.

After the motion was tabled, Short, who played for Joe Paterno, gave an impassioned speech about the prior 20 minutes of board discussion, saying there were several members of the Board of Trustees who use Joe Paterno’s name to gain power and influence.

“I’m fortunate here today to serve on this board, working with all of you. I support this resolution and support honoring Joe Paterno and honoring Sue and doing everything that we can to honor their name,” Short said. “I don’t support continued political stunts in Joe Paterno’s name, to put out a resolution, to say all this and then pull it back is insulting to me, personally.”

“It was not necessary. I knew nothing about this,” he continued. “I support the resolution, but I would not have supported it brought to this board in this manner, making stunts over and over again, constantly. People use Joe Paterno’s name to be reelected because that’s what people vote on.”

After Short’s speech, the board meeting was adjourned.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a junior journalism major at Penn State and an associate editor at Onward State. He covers Penn State football and enjoys yelling on Twitter about Philadelphia/Penn State sports. He also listens to Mac Miller more than you. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. Please send all positive affirmations and/or hate mail toward him on Twitter (iamjoelister) or via email ([email protected]).

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